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Penang is shortened as "PG" in English, or "PP" in Malay.Archaeological evidence shows that Penang had been inhabited as early as the Neolithic era.The Cherok Tok Kun megalith in Bukit Mertajam, uncovered in 1845, contains Pali inscriptions, indicating that the Hindu-Buddhist Bujang Valley civilisation based in what is now Kedah had established control over parts of Seberang Perai by the 6th century.
The British East India Company was also seeking a naval base in the region for the maintenance of Royal Navy ships.
Many early settlers, including Light himself in 1794, succumbed to malaria, earning early Penang the epithet 'the white man's grave'.
In 1800, Lieutenant-Governor Sir George Leith secured a strip of hinterland across the Penang Strait and named it Province Wellesley (now Seberang Perai).
George Town was Britain's first settlement in Southeast Asia, and was one of the first establishments of the British Empire after the loss of its North American colonies.
In Malaysian history, the occasion marked the beginning of more than a century of British imperialism in Malaya.
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